True to his word, City boss Glenn Roeder tonight made four changes to Satrurday's starting line-up as the Canaries prepared to face the obvious banana skin that was MK Dons (a).
Out went his centre-half pairing of John Kennedy and Dejan Stefanovic – both to be wrapped up in cotton wool – ahead of Saturday's home opener against Blackpool.
In their stead, the City chief switched Jason Shackell inside to enable Adam Drury to make his first start in ten gruelling months following the serious knee injury he sustained last autumn.
Indeed, given that he was already laid out on the treatment table the day that Roeder walked through the door, it was his first competitive appearance under his management.
With Ryan Bertrand due to make his return from injury this weekend, it was now firmly 'Game on!' for that fight for the left-back berth.
With Elliott Omusuzi looking set to partner Shackell at centre-half, tonight's reshuffle also saw Jon Otsemobor return at right-back with Darel Russell stepping into Lee Croft's shoes ahead of him.
Up front, and there was a first start for Omar Koroma – only not alongside Jamie Cureton, rather Arturo Lupoli. Whether that was a sign of things to come – or at least for as long as the Canaries remain short of the big target man of Roeder's dreams – would be for Saturday to decide.
Certainly both players were probably in more need of game time than Cureton; all three, of course, were in need of a goal.
On the bench and with the Carling Cup following the Premiership's lead of allowing seven substitutes, so Roeder found room for his on-loan Spurs starlet Troy Archibald-Henville, as well as youngster Damon Lathrope.
In every likelihood, however, it would be Croft and Cureton that would figure in the game's later stages as Lupoli's legs began to tire; 'OJ' too has yet to last a full game this summer – tonight might offer him the chance of his first 90 minutes.
As for the Dons, they were duly given a warm welcome in a rather sparse stadium:mk; the night would not be big on atmosphere as Keith Andrews – long linked with a switch to Blackburn and his old boss Paul Ince – was surprisingly handed the captain's armband by new Dons boss Roberto di Matteo.
Norwich City (4-4-2): Marshall; Otsemobor, Omusuzi, Shackell, Drury; Russell, Clingan, Fotheringham, Hoolahan; Koroma, Lupoli. Subs: Nelson, Pattison, Archibald-Henville, Chadwick, Cureton, Lathrope, Croft.
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